Pausing for Presence…

I had to take a beat and pause so I could be more present for decision making today. Whether it was being very hungry and snacking on veggies instead of popcorn, or getting up when the alarm went off so I could get some activity, or even just reflecting on my WW Recovery Checklist – it all comes down to my resolve for weight loss success.

Keeping this around is helpful because it reinforces healthy habits.

Having the self-control to think things through is an important step in a weight loss journey. I am thinking of it like this, it’s not that I’m saying “No” to tempting foods, it’s that I’m asking myself to consider the impact of my choices. Or, if I find myself in the kitchen, I’m making it a point to be intentional so I don’t go on autopilot. I think I’m at the point in my recovery plan where my healthy habits are taking over. My unhealthy habits are retreating. It’s a strange thing really, I can feel it happening. Transformational change happens the moment a person really believes that it’s possible.

Pausing to remember beauty…

I’m thinking about how incredible it was to see real humpback whales. There is something wonderful and beautiful in just knowing they are out there in deep ocean right now.

New foods to try…

True Stories & the Stories We Tell…

The stories I tell myself can either build me up or tear me down. I had an excellent day on plan. I kept my goal close to me and tracked everything I ate. I am in control and can do this (even though some times it’s very difficult). There are all kinds of true stories surrounding my weight loss journey – true stories of defeat and success. The story that is the most important is the one where I never ever give up. I am going to keep at this, for the rest of my life, because I want to live my life in the best health I can. I enjoy having energy, and the sense of confidence my weight loss has given me. I’m more confident because I feel more like I used to feel, before the weight gain, and that feeling makes the work that maintenance requires seem like a fair trade. I’m resilient I can dig deep and keep going because that is who I choose to be. That’s my story.

Day Thirty-Three…

This week is shaping up to be a rough one. Lots of stress, and poor choices. It’s time for a reset. This is a journey for life, so I don’t know why I’m surprised that I’m struggling it’s just unrealistic to imagine that there wouldn’t be some struggle along the way. The questions I have to ask myself are: What do I do next? How do I handle this?

I don’t really have all the answers. I wish I could make a quick bulleted list of next steps to deal with this that would help me and others too. I really just want to share that I’m having a hard time this week. Sometimes this is very hard and especially when there is a lot going on. I think just admitting that truth is a sign of some personal growth.

Thank you for reading my post and know I am here rooting for you and your success.

Day Ten…

M

 y featured image is not from today. Today, was dreary, wet, and cold. Instead, I conjured up a picture from December of last year. It is so beautiful and makes me feel connected to a deep sense of wonder. This tree grew from a seed a small insignificant seed into this stalwart giant. A fixture on the landscape to guide my way home. 

It turns out I needed a little inspiration. I am finding that I am hungry and am looking to graze. I have not let that get away from me. But the past few days are rough! I am reminding myself to ask if this is internal or external hunger I feel. I am stirring away from sugar and am trying to eat a variety of foods. I only have 7 extra SmartPoints left (with today’s 3 point roll-over) and I don’t love that I’ve used so many points pretty early into my week.  Especially, since I’ll be traveling to Houston.

Yikes! It looks beautiful though. 

 This will be a little tricky but hey, I have you my virtual team on this journey with me. Believe it, that helps! I think there is just these “hungry” kind of days. Days that I have no business really being hungry because I’ve eaten and when I reflect on my overall being I’m not really hungry, I’m just craving something… I did, however, say no to these tonight:

Three reasons to be happy today: 1. I am happy about saying no these. 2. I am happy that I am working towards Lifetime status. 3. I am happy to know that so many people love me and that I love so many people. Life is crazy, but life is also very extraordinary.

My last words tonight are to hold on to all the beauty. Celebrate all the small wins. Be interested in yourself so you may be interesting to others :). You are worth all the effort this journey requires from us. I’m very proud of you, you are amazing, and don’t you forget that! More tomorrow. 

Day Five…

There is no doubt that we are living in a stressful world.  There is always plenty of bad news, hurt feelings, and depressing images. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at each flip of a page, turn of a channel, or click on a screen because we are innodated with constant unyielding information. Know what I mean?

Mindful

It turns out, the antidote to this crazed harried existence, we all seem to be living, is within the auspice of our own control.  Practicing mindfulness is where it’s at. When I started to read a little more about this practice I realized that I have stumbled onto these practices in my effort to get to goal.

The following list names the markers of practicing mindfulness and how they were revealed through my weight loss journey.

  1. Kindness counts: If it’s true that you write your own story in this life. The narrator of that story needs to have a kind voice. My daily reflections for my progress, throughout my weight loss journey is colored by kindness.
  2. Drop the judgment: Acknowledge and accept things for what they are. I was talking to a friend just tonight about how it’s exhausting to think about people who zap your energy. I feel as though I’m surrendering my energy and to what end? The judgment doesn’t change a thing, it just lets negativity linger.
  3. Practicing patience: I’ve had to learn how to wait. There were points in this journey where I’ve felt totally transformed on the inside but it wasn’t showing on the outside. Those were challenging times and I totally understand why so many people give up on the way to goal. Being patience conserves personal power because there is a belief that things will change eventually.
  4. Beginning with a beginner’s mind: I kept that honeymoon phase of #WW going throughout the journey. It is toxic to assume a point of view that there is nothing new to learn. I opened myself up to the possibility of doing things differently this time around.
  5. It’s a matter of trust: I believe in me. I have learned to trust my own personal wisdom. There is no magic book, or program, or pill there is only me and I am enough.
  6. Non-striving: I have always been driven by goals. Getting through graduate school, getting a job, buying a house… It turns out it’s very different when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes being driven by a purpose is not so helpful. If it’s all about the “goal” itself, I would have missed all the good stuff that was happening at the moment.
  7. Acceptance, the ultimate reality check: once I learned to accept wherever I was on the road to getting to goal I was able to be more responsive to what I needed in order to be successful. There were and are lots of challenges, for example being tempted by candy. I love candy and I accept that fact. I can eat it but then I have to track it.  To my way of thinking, this is a form of acceptance.
  8. Get ready, get set, let go: Being at peace with myself and not fighting the process is life changing. I now understand that things will unfold as they are meant to and in doing so I have made room for change.

I share these thoughts because I want to help others achieve their goals.  I do believe that we all have the power to transform ourselves. However, there is not one right path, it’s understanding your path because you are the path.

Day Four Hundred-Seventeen…

I am .4 pounds away from goal!

PROGRESS 10 27 18

I am so close. During the workshop, many members shared how our time and support system is what is helping them to stay on track. I completely agree. This is a challenge but it can be done.

The other day a colleague told me that when she saw me in the hallway she didn’t recognize me. She looked at me with astonishment because I have been so transformed.  In many ways I am different but on the other hand, in some important ways, I’m exactly the same. I had a piece of lemon pound cake after lunch today, and I immediately wanted another slice. I actually stood with my hand on the refrigerator and told myself, “No. No more, you’re done. You already know what it tastes like, and you don’t need anymore.” This worked today. I walked away from the refrigerator.

So even after all these weeks of care and attention, I am still vulnerable to overeating. It’s ok because knowing that about myself actually helps me. Honest reflection makes this possible. I am in this for life and I am grateful that I am learning more about myself.

 

Day Three Hundred Ninety-Six…

Food and memories are so deeply intertwined for me. I think of family dinners, holidays, and visiting relatives. I think of love and belonging when I think about food. I think of my little Italian Nanny, and my mother working all day in the kitchen to prepare the most delicious meals. Eggplant parmesan, escarole and beans, and pasta fagioli. Don’t even get me started on the pork sauce. Then there was the good sausage and Italian bread straight outta’ Brooklyn! I think of our kitchen table set for family and good times.  It’s no wonder that food is so comforting.

This blog is a place for the truth, and the truth is I am an emotional eater. The rational side of my brain says,  “It’s just food.” The emotional side of my brain says, “Sweet relief! Yes, let me have another scoop of ice cream please.”  However, the comfort is only temporary and is almost always followed with some regret. Since I began my journey, I am learning how to cope with emotions for what they are, and to deal with them without trying to distract myself with food.  Somedays it is very hard to do, while other days it’s not an issue at all.  It’s the self-awareness that I want to celebrate, getting to this point of really recognizing what has held me back in the past from achieving long-lasting weight loss.

I’m in this for life, and that means I have to continue to work on this part of me until I really understand what it is and why it happens. It means knowing my triggers, and being more present. When I do go on “autopilot” and old habits creep back in, recognizing it and taking action.  This stuff isn’t easy, and I think that’s why so many people give up on weight loss.

Just remember, it’s never too late for a “do over.” There is no shame in a fresh start even if it is every day or even every hour of the day.  You are enough, and so am I we can do this, it just takes time.

Day Three Hundred Eighty-Two…

I will be donating the food in my featured image towards the Weight Watchers Good campaign. I am glad to be part of something that makes a positive contribution. As I think about my weigh-in tomorrow I am hopeful.  I am ending this week -1 Smartpoint, The point is I know what I ate this week because I tracked weighed and measured everything. That’s good news and more good news? I went to spin class today and had a fantastic ride and a nice cup of coffee afterward.

Now I’m back with the books. I’ll be posting tomorrow, I’ll let you know what happens. But before I go, I want to take a moment to appreciate how far I have come. Both of these pictures were taken at a local festival, Cow Harbor Day. They are about six years apart. I am almost at goal. If I’m up tomorrow, I am just going to power through it. I can do this and (if you really want it) so can you.

Day Three Hundred Eighty-One…

I had a conversation with a friend today who is has lost so much weight. she shared her frustration about gaining .2 pounds and being stagnant.  It was privileged to be the voice that reminded her of all that she has achieved.  I quoted my Weight Watcher leader, “Don’t forget all the pounds you’re defending.” Narrowing the focus to numbers minimizes the accomplishment. If you’re on a weight loss journey and you feel stuck, it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Acknowledge the disappointment but keep going. Just because it isn’t happening quickly doesn’t mean it won’t happen. You can do this. Believe it.

Day Three Hundred Seventy-Nine…

The day was busy, there was so much to do at work that I barely had time to eat. I ate most of my lunch on my ride home. It was not a “blue dot” day but it wasn’t a disaster. I had my basic breakfast (greek yogurt and fruit), and lunch (sandwich, fruit, 1/3 cup pistachios, cut up vegetables, mini baby-bell cheese, low-fat Triscuits). Dinner – two tacos, a chocolate graham cracker from Starbucks with a tall nonfat skinny latte. So, I used 29 Smartpoints (one over the limit). I really enjoyed the graham cracker, unlike yesterday’s sugar-free ice cream, it was a big ticket item at 7 points.

As far as activity goes, I have been signing up for (and canceling) spin class. I have not gone because of all the late nights. When it comes to spin or sleep, sleep has to win. However, I did sign up for tomorrow, and I really want to go. Fingers crossed I get what needs to be done tonight at a reasonable hour so that happens. There is still so much work for me to do so work is taking priority.  However, this is a temporary (albeit extremely demanding) situation that will eventually come to an end.

So in the meantime, I am grateful for the latte and chocolate graham I enjoyed so much. I am grateful that I took Sadie for a walk the other day. I am even grateful for washing my face before I go to bed. These may be very simple things but they help. I am learning that even though I can’t control everything that comes my way, I can always appreciate what I have. It feels good to take this moment and think about the good because I want the good to grow.

My last words for today are I am rooting for your success on your weight loss journey.  This is a day-in-day-out kind of endeavor. It’s hard to see progress sometimes, and other times you wake up and feel totally different. I am 89.2 pounds and I made this happen. You can do this too,